Are Action Movies Making Us Fat?

Genre linked to heavy snacking: study
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2014 1:01 PM CDT
Are Action Movies Making Us Fat?
Andrew Garfield is shown in a scene from 'The Amazing Spider-Man.' Action films may be more likely to make us overeat, a study suggests.   (AP Photo/Columbia - Sony Pictures, Jaimie Trueblood)

If you're looking to lose weight, you may want to consider your movie diet … especially when it comes to action flicks. We seem to have a particular problem with overeating during such films, a study suggests. Researchers asked 94 students to watch one of three programs: The Ewan McGregor-Scarlett Johansson action movie The Island; the same film with no sound; and an episode of Charlie Rose's interview show, CBS News reports. They were offered M&Ms, carrots, grapes, and cookies to snack on. Turns out the subjects ate almost twice as much during the movie with sound as they did during The Charlie Rose Show—some 206.5 grams compared to 104.3 grams.

They also packed away 65% more calories, the BBC reports. Those who watched the film without sound still ate more than the interview-watchers, chowing down on 142.1 grams of food. Men were particularly susceptible to the action-movie effect. "We find that if you're watching an action movie while snacking, your mouth will see more action, too," says a researcher. "More stimulating programs that are fast-paced, include many camera cuts, really draw you in and distract you from what you are eating." So try setting out a reasonable portion before you turn on the movie, researchers suggest. You could also try a "fat-shaming fork." (More action movie stories.)

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